White Glove’s co-founders Dean Thurman, Mike Thurman, and Jeff Grail, recently sat down with financial advisors in the trenches from InvestWise Financial, a full-service financial planning firm, as part of their White Glove University monthly roundtables. They discussed current trends in the financial advising industry, including strategies on financial planning and what is leading to success in educational workshops. These are some of the biggest takeaways from that discussion:
Trend 1- Inflation, Market Volatility and Lifestyle Trends
It is no surprise that market volatility and inflation have been weighing heavily on the general public. Between gas prices skyrocketing, the formula shortage, bond market performance, inflation, and more, people are looking for help navigating these rocky waters. Added to that, the pandemic shifted thinking for many people, which left employees leaving their places of employment in droves. When a person quits their job, either to pursue another or because of retirement — financial advice is a must.
Dean Thurman: “From a marketing and organic growth perspective, as an advisor, there has never been a better time to get in front of a group of general public pre-retirees than now. With the great resignation going on, baby boomers retiring in droves, and recent market volatility and inflation all over the news — the general public is looking for answers. In 33 years of being a financial advisor, I've never seen a time where everything is adding up, and all the stars are aligning for people to really have a lot of interest in financial education.”
Financial advisor panelist Kelly Boyd, who uses a combination of buffer-type annuities and conservative portfolio strategies to address her clients’ concerns and provide peace of mind, further explained:
Kelly Boyd: “People are looking for solutions. They want to make sure they are going to be ok. Security and protection are the name of the game right now.”
Trend 2- Virtual Flexibility
Through the pandemic, both advisors and the public were forced to transition to virtual meetings and events. It was discovered that with proprietary tools and geo-mapping, advisors can locate clients in under-represented locations and “move beyond borders” to grow their business. Another major advantage of going virtual is that advisors can utilize prerecorded, fully edited presentations. They can then use those perfect recordings repeatedly — saving them time and allowing them more flexibility.
Jeff Grail: “Three years ago, who would have ever thought you could do business and close business over a computer? With live seminars, you usually stay within a 30-mile radius of your office. With virtual meetings, those borders are taken away.”
Trend 3- Estate Planning
The topic of estate planning provides a significant opportunity for advisors to gain high-net-worth clients. Typically, the last piece of the financial plan puzzle people put together is their estate plan. They need financial guidance because it becomes the blueprint for an estate planning attorney to draft the required documents. Still, many advisors are hesitant to tackle the subject. They stay away from it, thinking registrants will attend the workshop to hear about estate planning and be disappointed because the presenter is an advisor. Another financial advisor panelist, Mason Gorris, weighed in on the topic.
Mason Gorris: “The pivot is easier than you would think. I think that people who come to an estate planning workshop are higher intent individuals. They know they need an estate plan, and they do not have one. When I am talking about assets and income, I am coming at it not from the document preparation point of view, which is obviously important, but I am coming at it from a strategy of How do we save on taxes? How do you keep more money throughout your lifetime? How do you get more money to beneficiaries? Those are things that the estate planning attorney does not talk about. So, there is this big gap that an advisor is filling in the estate planning process. I do mention that to people at my workshops and say, Hey, I'm an advisor and that is actually great for you because we're going to talk about some strategy items that you've probably never heard about today that just get left out of the conversation, even if you've met with an estate planning attorney before. It is much more of a natural pivot than you would think. I think people are very open to that change of mindset.”
Dean Thurman: “Many people think doing estate planning means being an estate planning attorney. It does not. It means we need to help as financial advisors with or without an attorney standing there next to us at a seminar and in a follow-up meeting. We need to help the general public transfer their assets from one generation to the next, legally minimizing taxes, minimizing difficulties, and minimizing mistakes, with beneficiaries.”
Mike Thurman: “People who go to an estate planning workshop are there because they want to protect their wealth and pass it on to the next generation, not necessarily because they want to do a will or a trust. As a financial advisor, you can take on higher net-worth clients by doing the financial planning for the estate, and then work with an attorney to draft up the documents.”
Trend 4 – Lead Nurturing through Life Events
There is a good reason why it is always recommended to actively nurture leads and engage with clients. During the webinar, Kelly shared a few stats that explained how all the significant economic changes and current market trends are affecting her leads and that life events mixed with her automated nurture campaigns are bringing those leads in as clients. She uses White Glove’s subscription-based service called White Glove One which packages lead nurturing and client engagement tools into an automated system.
Kelly Boyd: “I have been using White Glove’s nurture campaigns to drip to my leads for years, and one of those leads just reached out to me from a seminar I did back in 2017. Some leads are just not ready to make the move when you speak with them initially at your seminar or follow-up, and that is ok. When the time comes that financial advice is needed, who do you think they will reach out to? By staying top of mind during these life events, you keep yourself relevant and open to new business.”